Portrait of Marriage in plays by Terence Rattigan and Tennessee Williams

Ref: C3744224

By watching the plays on dvd and through playreading we will explore how these playwrights dramatise family dramas and relationships,The chosen plays are:'The Browning Version '( 1949) and 'The Deep Blue Sea' ( 1952) by Terence Rattigan and ' The Glass Menagerie ' ( 1945) and 'A Streetcar named Desire' (1947) by Tennessee Williams.Both playwrights employ different dramatic styles to explore the chosen themes .

Course aim

We will study plays by Terence Rattigan and Tennessee Williams to explore how playwrights dramatise marriage, family relationships and gender roles.

Do I need any particular skills or experience?

  • This course is suitable for beginners and improvers
  • This course is open to anyone with an interest in theatre and literature.

By the end of the course I should be able to:

  • Identify the genre and key themes in each of the plays.
  • Interpret and debate key scenes and characterisation
  • Analyse and evaluate ideas for staging and dramatic realisation
  • Compare and contrast the stage and filmic interpretations of the play where possible.

How will I be taught?

  • The WEA tutor will use a range of different teaching and learning methods and encourage you and the group to be actively involved in your learning
  • You may be asked to undertake additional work in your own time to support your learning

What kind of feedback can I expect?

  • A range of informal activities will be used by the tutor to see what you are learning which may include quizzes, question and answer, small projects and discussion
  • You will have opportunities to discuss your progress with your tutor
  • You will be encouraged to share your work with the group and discuss your learning
  • You will be encouraged to consider other students work and give your opinions and suggestions

What else do I need to know?

  • A selection of materials and basic equipment will be provided but you are welcome to bring additional materials with you
  • You will be provided with any play extracts required but you may like to read the whole play yourself and have your own copy. These can be downloaded for free from Project Gutenberg. It may be useful to have a pen and paper to jot down ideas.

Pre-course work, reading and information sources

  • No pre reading or pre course work is required
  • You may like to look at a reference book such as Martin Banham The Cambridge Guide to Theatre ( CUP 1995). Or go to Chichester Festival Theatre to see The Deep Blue Sea on stage from 21 June - 27 July 2019.

What can I do next?

  • Progress to another WEA course
  • Progress to a course with another provider
  • Become involved with the WEA in a range of voluntary work and other activities including campaigning as a WEA member
  • Become involved as a volunteer for a WEA partner or another organisation
  • You could progress to Higher Education courses. Follow link to the PEARL website for information http://pearl.open.ac.uk/
  • Access the WEA What Next? booklet here http://www.wea.org.uk/learn-wea/what-can-i-do-next
  • Join an amateur theatrical group or attend a course at a professional theatre such as Chichester. Go to the theatre and see a live a performance or to the live screenings at local cinemas.

Download full course information sheet

Portrait of Marriage in plays by Terence Rattigan and Tennessee Williams

Is this course right for me? Request more information

This course is not available for online enrolment.


As a registered charity, and to meet our funders’ requirements, we need to check a few things with you before you book. Please could we ask that you check the list below to ensure you meet our basic criteria:

  • You are paying the standard fee (with a credit or debit card) or you are on any of the qualifying benefits
  • You have a valid email address so that you can receive confirmation of your booking
  • You have been resident in the UK, EU or EEA for the last 3 years
  • You are aged 19 years or older on 1st September 2019
  • You have read and accept our standard terms and conditions

Not sure or have further questions? Contact courseenquiries@wea.org.uk

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